Brexit has boosted Ireland’s international banking sector, increasing their balance sheets and pushing the sector up international and European rankings.
A new report, Supporting Ireland’s Success – The Contribution of International Banking, has found Brexit to be a key driver of change in the sector here, with the expansion of banks following the vote to leave the EU adding €200 billion. euros at their leaf balance between 2015 and July 2021.
It ranked Ireland’s international banking sector 17th in the world and eighth in the EU, up from 19th and 9th a year earlier.
The report, published by the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and its subsidiary the Federation of International Banks Ireland (FIBI), highlights Ireland’s role as a key hub for market access to the EU after Brexit.
The ECB ranked Ireland second in terms of the value of assets transferred to EU banks after Britain voted to leave the EU, just behind Germany.
“While Ireland’s international financial services sector has grown steadily over the decades, the UK’s exit from the EU has accelerated this trend, with Ireland now one of the main hubs hubs for international banking and capital markets,” said Fiona Gallagher, FIBI Chair and Managing Director of Wells Fargo Bank International.
“Many UK and global banking groups have set up or set up new Irish entities to serve EU customers after Brexit. This has seen an influx of new staff, assets, risk management capabilities and investment services business into Ireland.
“In addition, EU branch networks have also been overhauled, for example by moving EU branches from UK entities to their (new) EU entities in Ireland. International banking operations in Ireland now act as a key bridge to serve the EU market, both directly and through its extensive branch networks across the EU.
Some 75% of Irish international banks are involved in implementing sustainable finance, and more than half believe there is an opportunity for global leadership for their Irish operation in the sector.
“As we look to the future, the biggest challenge is undoubtedly climate change and sustainable finance,” Ms Gallagher said.
“Our banks are well placed to help businesses and customers transition to a low carbon economy and ensure Ireland meets its climate targets. This transition offers great opportunities for the sector, which FIBI members wish to develop. Our collective ambition is to make Ireland a hub of sustainable finance over the next decade, while supporting our international and Irish clients.